Something Instead of Nothing

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:57 pm

An eternal morality is one that changes over time with the acquisition of new knowledge and experience

When I was a young man I was always right and everyone else was always wrong and everything was just black and white
Now I am an old man and I am not interested in right and wrong or black and white because everything is shades of grey
I look into the abyss and I do not like what I see but I have no choice but to look at it because what I am looking at is me
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:48 pm

iambiguous wrote:
You assert that this fear of death is irrational and that talking about death makes it go away

And yet there are any number of others [ like me ] who react to this dumbfounded . How can anyone actually manage to think themselves into believing it ?

We are all afraid of different things : I am afraid of worms and heights and dentists but I am not afraid of death
I have nothing to lose by dying which may be why I am not afraid of it but whatever the reason I am perfectly calm about it so have no anxiety
I cannot make you any less afraid of death than you already are no more than you can make me any less afraid of worms or heights or dentists

You want to overcome a fear of anything then only you can do that because only you have that fear so the responsibility is yours
Of course others might have the same fear as you but their fear only affects them as yours only affects you so it is all subjective
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby surreptitious75 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:58 pm

iambiguous wrote:
You may even manage to take it all the way to the grave

After that well who the fuck really knows ?

What happens beyond the grave is not something I worry about because I have no reason to
For me death is nothing more than just a transition from consciousness to non consciousness

I have no problem passing very slowly into a state of non existence as I would want that anyway had I the choice
Also I was in that state forever before I was conceived so all I am doing is simply returning to where I came from
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:34 am

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
You may even manage to take it all the way to the grave

After that well who the fuck really knows ?

What happens beyond the grave is not something I worry about because I have no reason to
For me death is nothing more than just a transition from consciousness to non consciousness

I have no problem passing very slowly into a state of non existence as I would want that anyway had I the choice
Also I was in that state forever before I was conceived so all I am doing is simply returning to where I came from


Again, you have managed to think yourself into a frame of mind that I would imagine is considerably comforting and considerably consoling.

So your best bet is to avoid narratives like mine altogether. After all, what if I begin to make sense?!

All that carefully crafted reasoning may well begin to...crumble.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:24 am

I adapt the narrative that is the most convincing not the most consoling as this is of no consequence to me
And should you therefore convince me I am wrong and you and are right I will adapt your narrative instead

I know nothing and so claiming certainty about anything is unwise which is why I need to have an open mind
I will always know nothing regardless of what I actually think which is why I am interested in all possibilities
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:57 pm

Larry Curley in Philosophy Now magazine

The easiest way to show that there must be something rather than nothing is to try to define nothing. Nothing must have no properties: No size. No shape. No position. No mass-energy, forces, wave forms, or anything else you can think of. No time, no past, no present, no future. And finally, no existence. Therefore there must be something. And this is it.


Sure, why not. I exist therefore I define things. But suppose you define "nothing" in another way?

Or maybe just the fact that I exist to define things is as far as one need go.

But defining "something" as that which encompasses "properties" that do exist tells us absolutely nothing about why they do. In other words, why they must exist.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:23 pm

surreptitious75 wrote: I adapt the narrative that is the most convincing not the most consoling as this is of no consequence to me
And should you therefore convince me I am wrong and you and are right I will adapt your narrative instead


Okay, we can chalk it all up to serendipity. By coincidence that which you construe to be the most convincing frame of mind is also the most consoling.

Only human psychology can be tricky. The part that revolves around defense mechanisms can persuade you [subconsciously? unconsciously?] to embrace the most soothing frame of mind.

I don't even pretend anymore to fully understood how these things all unfold given the complexity of the human brain melding into mind melding into "I" out in a particular world.

Still, what seems most important is that which you are [here and now] able to think yourself into believing is true.

Here, you can, I can't.

Just out of curiosity, how many times in the past has someone actually been able to convince you that you were wrong about your narrative? Me? Well, atheists convinced me not to be a theist, Communists convinced me not to be a capitalist, Trotskyists convinced me not to be a Leninist, Social Democrats convinced me not to be a socialist, existentialists convinced me not to be an objectivist, nihilists convinced me not to put too much stock in any "ism" at all. Including nihilism itself. Instead, I came to be convinced that "I" is basically just an existential contraption ever and always subject to re-fabrication in a world of contingency, chance and change.

surreptitious75 wrote: I know nothing and so claiming certainty about anything is unwise which is why I need to have an open mind
I will always know nothing regardless of what I actually think which is why I am interested in all possibilities


Here I still make that crucial distinction between those things [seeming facts] that exist for all of us in the either/or world and those things which seem to exist more "in my head" [subject-ively] in both the is/ought world and in discussions that go out to the very end of the metaphysical limb.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:53 pm

D.E. Tarkington from Philosophy Now magazine.

is there something rather than nothing? I vouch for ‘play’. Bear with me. Sartre writes in Being and Nothingness that a perfect nothingness would nihilate itself. It’s as if there is something in nothingness that must become something. So imagine, if you will, a pre-Big-Bang cosmic boredom. Now imagine it, in some fundamental way, seeking to become something. This implies a kind of experimentation, or play, for the sake of seeing what happens. And how can there be any ‘seeing’ without consciousness, which is as removed from nothing as anything could be?


What this encompasses is the classic example of a "general description" "Intellectual contraption" in regard to assessments of things like this.

It's more or less a "thought experiment" in which the words precipitate certain assumptions about existence that we appear to have no way in which to either verify or falsify. Experimentally for example. Or experientially.

But we let that slide because, well, what else is there?

Still, it suggests the way in which "worlds of words" can be used as a substitute for demonstrable proof. And for things [relationships] considerably less "metaphysical".

Everything seems to exist for the sake of being perceived. Consider, for instance, secondary qualities such as light and sound. While we can easily imagine a universe of form and extension – primary qualities – without consciousness (specifically, without being perceived), secondary qualities are different. If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, it doesn’t make sound as much as disturb the air. The same goes for light: neither color nor sound exist without being perceived.


Here is another aspect of conscious existence that boggles the minds of some more than others. What does it mean to ponder/probe existence in the absense of minds able to? How would/could the universe be approached and/or grappled with in the absense of entities able to perceive it?

That's why God must come into play:

So why all this rather than nothing? To see what happens? Experimentation, perhaps? Play? In this sense, all perceiving things can be thought of as the eyes and ears of God.


Of course, that's an explanation for everything. For anything. Other than in explaining why God and not No God. So God necessarily becomes the equivalent of existence. If only in the minds of those entities able to perceive something rather than nothing at all.

Then consciousness itself:

...consciousness distances us from nothing. So we can assume that the more it evolves, the further it removes itself from that nothing.


Only here we are confronted with the final imponderable. While human consciousness continues to evolve further and further away from nothing at all, each individual conscious "I" continues to topple over into the abyss that is...what exactly?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:03 pm

Mike Addison in Philosophy Now

...attributing a purpose to the laws of nature fails to appreciate the sort of thing those laws and the Universe that results are. The seeking of a purpose for all things, by the questioners we have become, reflects not something out there in what led to our creation, but something internal we use to organize our short lives within this magnificent creation.


And around and around we go. Whatever can explain the existence of something is only there to be explained because this something has evolved into the existing entities that we encompass in "I". And, try as we might, nothing has ever really been explained at all regarding why there is even a how to be discovered.

Also, the part about how some are considerably more fascinated by this than others. Or those who can even be disturbed by the fact of existing as this infinitesimally insignificant speck without any understanding of the point of it all.

At best they can speculate that maybe -- maybe -- it will all become clearer when they are dead and gone.

Is creation "magnificent"? Or, in the context of all there is, is that just another essentially meaningless word that specks of our ilk thought up only because for whatever reason it is something that we could think up?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:19 pm

The Science Channel just aired the following documentary. It is clearly pertinent to this thread:

https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows ... lly-happen?

Bottom line: The Big Bang is only one possible narrative attempting to explain the existence of Somethingness. And we really have no true understanding at all of the relationship between this and nothing at all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:56 am

iambiguous wrote:The Science Channel just aired the following documentary. It is clearly pertinent to this thread:

https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows ... lly-happen?

Bottom line: The Big Bang is only one possible narrative attempting to explain the existence of Somethingness. And we really have no true understanding at all of the relationship between this and nothing at all.

Note Science makes the fundamental assumption [note assumption!] there is always something.
This assumption is taken for granted in Science, thus there is no way Science will ever prove there is something instead of nothing.

Science is limited and what is meta-Science is philosophy.
From the perspective of philosophy, it is impossible to prove whether there is something instead of nothing or nothing instead of something. Thus as Wittgenstein proposed, we should just shut up whereof one cannot speak of.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:26 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:
Note Science makes the fundamental assumption [note assumption!] there is always something.
This assumption is taken for granted in Science, thus there is no way Science will ever prove there is something instead of nothing.


When grappling with the very existence of existence itself who doesn't start with one or another assumption? This one is yours.

And you and I have no way in which to know for certain what science either will or will not be able to prove hundreds or thousands of years into the future.

Indeed, imagine folks around the time of Aristotle speculating on what might be proven by science in our time.

It's just that "nothing" becoming "something" becoming "everything in the universe today" is one of those mind-boggling conundrums that most of us own up to as really, really hard to wrap our heads around. Both "nothing at all" and an ever existing "something" seem impossible to wholly explain.

Here I always come back to an earlier post of mine in regard to Bryan Magee's reaction to all this:

Why does something exist rather than nothing? And why this something and not something else? And did everything that does exist come into existence out of nothing at all? What can that even mean though?

And then there are the speculations of Bryan Magee about time and space:

time

For a period of two to three years between the ages of nine and twelve I was in thrall to puzzlement about time. I would lie awake in bed at night in the dark thinking something along the following lines. I know there was a day before yesterday, and a day before that and a day before that and so on...Before everyday there must have been a day before. So it must be possible to go back like that for ever and ever and ever...Yet is it? The idea of going back for ever and ever was something I could not get hold of: it seemed impossible. So perhaps, after all, there must have been a beginning somewhere. But if there was a beginning, what had been going on before that? Well, obviously, nothing---nothing at all---otherwise it could not be the beginning. But if there was nothing, how could anything have got started? What could it have come from? Time wouldn't just pop into existence---bingo!--out of nothing, and start going, all by itself. Nothing is nothing, not anything. So the idea of a beginning was unimaginable, which somehow made it seem impossible too. The upshot was that it seemed to be impossible for time to have had a beginning and impossible not for it to have had a beginning.

I must be missing something here, I came to think. There are only these two alternatives so one of them must be right. They can't both be impossible. So I would switch my concentration from one to the other, and then when it had exhausted itself, back again, trying to figure out where I had gone wrong; but I never discovered.

space

I realized a similar problem existed with regard to space. I remember myself as a London evacuee in Market Harborough---I must have been ten or eleven at the time---lying on my back in the grass in a park and trying to penetrate a cloudless blue sky with my eyes and thinking something like this" "If I went straight up into the sky, and kept on going in a straight line, why wouldn't I be able to just keep on going for ever and ever and ever? But that's impossible. Why isn't it possible? Surely, eventually, I'd have to come to some sort of end. But why? If I bumped up against something eventually, wouldn't that have to be something in space? And if it was in space wouldn't there have to be something on the other side of it if only more space? On the other hand, if there was no limit, endless space couldn't just be, anymore than endless time could.


Prismatic567 wrote:Science is limited and what is meta-Science is philosophy.
From the perspective of philosophy, it is impossible to prove whether there is something instead of nothing or nothing instead of something. Thus as Wittgenstein proposed, we should just shut up whereof one cannot speak of.


As with science, we have no way of grasping what philosophers either will or will not be proposing about these relationships well off into the future. For me though anything proposed is either able to be demonstrated as true for all of us or it is not. What we believe in our head about the either/or, is/ought, Big Question quandaries that we grapple with would always seem to revolve around that relationship.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:41 pm

Christopher Cokinos in Philosophy Now magazine

This is one of those questions which, as the Buddha says in a sermon attributed to him, “tends not toward edification”, if by edification we mean achieving a final answer.


And yet would not the Bhudda be compelled to grasp this if he is to make any sense at all of all the other things he dispenses in the way of "wisdom"?

That's the crux of it from my point of view. We have no access to the "final answer" yet we have no choice but to take our leaps to particular answers regarding actual existential interactions on this side of the grave.

Doesn't that effectively cripple those answers ultimately? We propose them only because there is no alternative. But we can never assess them as any thing other than more or less educated guesses.

Perhaps one is possible, but attempts to answer the question by appeal to the principle of sufficient reason devolve quickly into infinite regress: God created everything, but who created God? Appealing to multiverse cosmology, we might say that we happen to live in a universe finely tuned for existence of certain particles and, especially, stars. Other universes may be an absence of things. But what created the multiverse?


Or maybe not.

Last night on the Science Channel, they aired a documentary that just boggles the mind in regards to all of this: "The Battle Of the Dark Universe".

https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows ... k-universe?

Here we are groping to understand something instead of nothing when it is estimated that only 5% of the known universe is actually within the reach of astrophysicists. The other 95% is composed of dark matter and dark energy. And they really [as of now] can't explain them.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby promethean75 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:53 pm

biggy wrote:It's just that "nothing" becoming "something" becoming "everything in the universe today" is one of those mind-boggling conundrums that most of us own up to as really, really hard to wrap our heads around. Both "nothing at all" and an ever existing "something" seem impossible to wholly explain.


and you know, while this is certainly a curious question - where did it all come from, or was it always, or will it end, etc. - it's not really the quest for an answer to these questions that drives the scientist and philosopher. rather it's what an answer would imply that the scientist and philosopher is looking for. he thinks that if he is able to find a 'creator' (whatever that might be), he might be able to find some direction for his other, more pertinent questions; does this 'creator' want me to do something specifically and/or will what i do offend or appease this 'creator'.

this indicates two rather intriguing existential problems; man doesn't know what to do, and he can never quite grow out of his need for some authority (in religion, a father-figure on a cosmic scale).

now as a sport-theist, i like to put a spin on this traditional approach and suggest that if there were a 'god', it too would recognize these two rather embarrassing problems that man has and, to the extent that a 'god' would 'want' anything, wouldn't want man to be troubled by such problems. or rather 'it' wouldn't pay attention to those who do have such problems. i'd think that this 'god' would favor the bold and courageous... so much so that you might even imagine such a person being a living antithesis to everything hitherto held in high esteem by the prevailing major religions. who would have thunk it; the 'antichrist' as the personification of divinity?

now there is a long line of reasoning behind this proposal... reasoning that reveals the various 'collisions' between logic and such things as the ontological, cosmological, intelligent design, and argument from evil arguments. you might say that god is hiding behind these things, producing them for the purpose of being refuted by those intelligent enough to recognize them as illogical, and bold and courageous enough to take these conclusions to there greatest extreme. to liberate themselves of all restrictions placed on them by such doctrinal puzzles... puzzles which were designed to be solved only by a few.

if the transformation - transition into this divine state - could be put into the schematic language of music, it might sound something like this.

the stages:

0:00-4:29 = that existential anxiety and despair that comes packaged with religious belief not yet cleared of its errors. the immature stage; uncertain, at the kierkegaardian crossroads (to leap or not to leap), looking for a father who still 'does not answer' (nietzsche).

4:29-9:12 = begin the metamorphosis. one starts to lose faith... 'this can't be right, something is amiss, something is wrong'. one realizes how they've been deceived so many years. their minds begins to twist... a strength begins growing inside, plotting its vengeance, ready to finally liberate itself. one now understands, but doesn't smile. not a smile, but a grin... a shit eating, sinister grin.

9:12-11:23 = breaks from the chains, rising from the ashes of the first stage and reaching that divine madness. it's go time, alpha team.

11:23-12:30 = the final stage before death. all things must end. finished and exhausted, one is ready for their tragic death and goes willingly into its arms having lived as the 'gods' would have wanted.

so that's pretty much what it would sound like. that would be the epic theme song 'god' wrote for the script. pretty fuckin' good, right? everything else is just noise or elevator music god wrote to characterize the lives of those who couldn't solve the puzzle.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:47 am

iambiguous wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
Note Science makes the fundamental assumption [note assumption!] there is always something.
This assumption is taken for granted in Science, thus there is no way Science will ever prove there is something instead of nothing.


When grappling with the very existence of existence itself who doesn't start with one or another assumption? This one is yours.

And you and I have no way in which to know for certain what science either will or will not be able to prove hundreds or thousands of years into the future.

Indeed, imagine folks around the time of Aristotle speculating on what might be proven by science in our time.

It's just that "nothing" becoming "something" becoming "everything in the universe today" is one of those mind-boggling conundrums that most of us own up to as really, really hard to wrap our heads around. Both "nothing at all" and an ever existing "something" seem impossible to wholly explain.


You don't seem to get the point.

Note re Big Bang Theory;

    Hypothesis: The Big Bang is the beginning of the Universe.
    Assumption: There is something rather than nothing.
    Speculated Theory: Evidences support the theory BB is the beginning of the universe.

BUT, in this case the theory [conclusion] is conditioned upon the assumption.
As such you cannot covert the assumption to a conclusion, i.e.
'There is something rather than nothing'.

Thus the best you can conclude is according to Science, the BB is the origin of the universe conditioned upon the assumption 'there is something rather than nothing'.
Therefore we cannot be certain there is absolutely 'something rather than nothing'.

What is most realistic and practical is this;

Depending on the case defined;
- case X -there is something rather than nothing,
- case Y -there is nothing rather than something.

Why people insist on one [mostly X] and not the other is because of their own desperate internal psychological state of insecurity.
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